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Riding Again After Total Knee Replacement

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  • Riding Again After Total Knee Replacement

    I underwent a total knee replacement on Dec 21, 2009.

    Additionally, I have osteoporosis.

    I own a wonderfully quiet 10 yr old TB pleasure horse whom I adopted for simple walk-trot-canter ring work and trails.

    I've not yet started riding again since the knee surgery.

    Can anyone pls advise me on the following:

    1) How soon after total knee replacement surgery can one ride again? (The knee surgeon told me to wait at least 3 mos but I felt that he has never dealt with a patient who rides.)

    2) Is there any particular hunt-seat style saddle that's good
    for knee replacements? (The "PJ" saddles by Bruno Delgrange have "puffy" knee pads that look really easy on the knees. Has anyone with knee issues ridden in this saddle?)

    3) Is there a knee brace that especially good for riders with a
    total knee replacement?

    Thank you for any input. I so want to ride my horse again.

    (I'll even give up the walk/trot/canter ring work and settle for just trail riding at a walk if that's all I should do.)


  • #2
    I have a friend who had a hip replacement (early 60's, in very good health, had a nasty buck-off) last fall. She was back in the saddle 4 months post surgery. She has an Antares jump saddle. No special precautions or braces.

    I had ACL surgery and found I was back riding at about month 3-4. Sore, small fabric brace due to scar soreness, in my County Innovation. Your doctor sounds correct in the timeline.

    I'm currently rehabbing from a shattered shoulder--very long, very painful PT. I plan to ride at month 5.
    Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!


    • #3
      Hi lisastep,
      I rode just 2 months after my first replacement surgery at 22 yrs old. As soon as they cut me loose from therapy I was on a horse. I've had both knees done twice and have both shoulders replaced. I know the risk I'm taking and don't ride quite as often as I used to. I just retired my old guy and am horseless at the moment. My best advice to you is do your strengthening exercises religiously! You will probably have to lengthen your stirrups for a while too. I am always more comfortable in an english saddle. Especially a dressage saddle. Good luck and have a great time!


      • #4

        hi there - had a knee replacement a year ago. had stopped riding because of the pain. had always riden in a stubben siegfried & loved it. it just plain didn't work after the surgery.
        bought a passier hanover that is perfect for me. once i found the correct stirrup length i can ride totally pain free & am out hacking.i found the operated leg takes one hole shorter. i also found that i can dismount better from the off side. my left knee needs to be replaced as well.


        • #5
          Riding After Knee Replacement

          Now that I have completed the knee replacement I have found that each person's recovery is completely different -- based on their fitness level before the surgery, their willingness to push hard during physical therapy, the skill of their surgeon and some dumb luck too. I had a goal to be on my horse in four weeks and did not meet my goal despite working hard to get there (I was on at five). The day I was going to get on I started getting sharp sudden pains which turned out to be probable nerve firing but I took it as as sign from my body that I just wasn't ready despite my efforts. (Listen to your body!). I write a blog on my riding life and have written quite a few entries about my surgery and healing if you want to take a look -- http://briannadressage.blogspot.com/


          • #6
            I had my right knee replaced on Oct 1 '12 and was back riding at 4 weeks. Had the left knee done Dec 17 '12 and have not yet gotten back on a horse only because it is winter. Give me a few nice days and I'll be back on a horse again! I did switch to a Fabtron western saddle before my surgeries simply because posting trot hurt my knees too much. Hope not to have that problem as time goes on and my knees heal. Everyone heals at their own pace. You will know when you are ready to ride again.


            • #7
              I enjoyed your blog, Brianna. I'm back to riding after my 2nd knee replacement and still have not tried the canter. I'm really enjoying painless posting though! Thanks for all your blogs and photos. Best wishes, Nancy


              • #8
                Thanks Nancy. I had my second one replaced two weeks ago and am blogging again about it. Briannadressage.blogspot.com

                Originally posted by NancyK View Post
                I enjoyed your blog, Brianna. I'm back to riding after my 2nd knee replacement and still have not tried the canter. I'm really enjoying painless posting though! Thanks for all your blogs and photos. Best wishes, Nancy


                • #9
                  I'm 8 weeks out of a tkr with a mcl repair..and I've found out that a compression brace works wonders with my knee. I ride a 20 year old Paint gelding with a circle y Western barrel racing saddle, and it's comfortable. I only do a walk and slow jog, because my horse is fat and out of shape, and I want to make sure the knee is ok with it..so far, so good!